Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gringos in Las Terrenas

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Adventures in Getting to The Dominican Republic

My husband Andrew and I were so stoked to be able to go on a winter vacation away from the cold in NYC.  It's always so satisfying to leave the frosty city for a beach destination.  Successfully leaving the apartment on time after a 4:30 am alarm, we were greeted by awesome 53-degree weather outside. I was sweating in my coat. So yeah, we kinda abandoned some sweet NY weather. 

We felt secure in our ability to get onto the flight from JFK to Miami.  According to information we received the day before, seating was very open.  When we arrived to the gate, Andrew and I were nearly the last people on the standby list of 26 people for a full flight.  How did this happen?? Uh oh.  I rethought my original plan to pick up some morning Shake Shack (JFK's location opens at 6am!). I didn't want to tell Andrew, but there was no way in hell we were getting on that flight, so I might as well eat my Shake Shack while we figure out our next move after we DON'T get on this plane.  ;)

To my surprise, the gate agent went down the list of people who had their names on the standby list and WEREN'T SHOWING UP.  Every time we got excited a Mr. and Mrs. So-and-Sho didn't make it to the desk, some last minute ticketed passenger would run down the terminal up to the gate.  It was a constant YAAAY AWWWW NOOOO WHAT.

I was shocked at how late these passengers were. The airline reps would take their tickets while chastising the travelers, "You know you almost missed your flight!!" And I would have to stop myself from giving these irresponsible passengers looks of disapproval even though I've totally been there- running through the airport like the Home Alone family.  Anyway, five minutes before they closed the door, Andrew and I got ushered in. We were part of the four last seats, and there was a flurry of activity as the reps tore tickets and scribbled our seat numbers on them.  Andrew was asking the rep if he should tag his carry-on, and she yelled, "JUST GOOOOOO!" Like a scene from an action movie where she was forcing us to leave her to save our own lives. Like that dramatic, guys.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My First Cushion Compact Experience: IOPE Air Cushion XP

When I first heard of a compact with a cushion that delivers liquid foundation to yo' face, I was super intrigued.  My Korean people bringing the innovative beauty products!

After researching on the good ol' web, I decided on the Amore Pacific IOPE Air Cushion XP  in C23 (Cover Beige).  I bought it at Korean beauty store in Atlanta for about $38. You can also find it at Peach and Lily. Your compact comes with one cushion already inside it and an extra cushion refill.  For some, that could justify the $40ish price tag. ;)

One of the first things I noticed is the packaging. The royal blue and silver box that the compact comes in is so pretty (that I still have it.)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Hellooooo, everyone. How was your Turkey Day celebration? 

Andrew and I did our usual drive to Pittsburgh for the weekend.  His sister joined us for the ride made up of catch up chats, Invisibilia, and Criminal. This sweetie greeted us when we arrived. Golden retriever puppy Maya.

Hey, what's up? Will you be the sucker who feeds me food I'm not supposed to have because I will 100% get diarrhea from it?

If I had to choose a photo that sums up the weekend, it would be this one. Let's relaaaaax with drinks!

There is no way I could be imbibing on that T Day level in front of my mom or other Korean elders. Oh, there would be judging, for sure.  I've only just begun to drink ANY alcohol in the presence of my mother.  She bought some red wine to pair with our Costco steak.  The second I took a sip, she sniffed at me and remarked, "It's such a turn off...the smell alcohol off of a woman's breath." This is about a minute before she poured herself some of wine.  I know.  Confusion. 

Anyway, the family's Italian so what do you expect? Of course, there is gonna be some wine...and tequila.  Because why not.

Settlers of Catan. This was a way more civilized version than what we attempted last year.  One of the cousins tried to teach us Settlers of Patron.  The frat boy aspect of taking shots with this game got neutralized by the REALLY nerdy aspect of Catan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Winning Korean Sheet Face Mask!

After landing in Atlanta the other weekend, my face was looking pretty rough.  I'm talking about dry skin with more apparent and sad looking wrinkles. :(((

During a trip to the ginormous Mall of Georgia (no seriously, its retail floor area is 1.786 million square feet), I stopped by Sephora to get a sheet mask so my poor skin could drink in some moisture. I asked a worker there what she recommended, and she couldn't gush enough about the Korean Farmacy brand masks.  Their masks are made of naturally derived ingredients and free of parabens, formaldehyde, and artificial coloring.  Bonus: They don't test on animals.  Meow.

Since I was looking for moisture, I went for the DEEP MOISTURE hydrating coconut gel mask with echinacea greenenvy. According to the box, this super echinacea ingredient "contains the highest known concentration of Cichoric Acid, a natural photo-essence that provides the plant restorative properties".  HELLO, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories! And the coconut gel is supposed to provide INTENSE hydration and restore your skin's balance. I was sold.

Beyond the beautiful packaging, the fresh cucumber smell was so delightful! It was light and relaxing.

Friday, November 13, 2015

How to Keep That Summer Glow Year Round

As I sit here in New York looking outside my window at the dreary, gray day, one thing keeps running through my mind.  Yup, the tagline to the ever binge-worthy show Game of Thrones:

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And with winter comes scaly, pale, dry-as-bone (not unlike that guy above) skin.  

BUT that doesn't have to be the case. 

Here are my tips for keeping your face looking healthy and radiant.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rooftop Fashion

Throwback to a past photoshoot

I picked the wardrobe...all from H&M. 

My husband hates these pants.  They got that high waisted thing going on that he thinks flattens my butt. I try to explain to him:  I just have a flat butt.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Little Getaway: Upstate New York

When my friend Jamie invited me on a hike going up Storm King Mountain, it was perfect timing.  I truly love fall, but the dipping temperatures made me feel sad and bitter.  It was almost as if we were going directly into winter! But life is easier when you see the positive, so I embraced the idea of fall while being one with nature and walking under a canopy of changing leaves.

I was going to be joining a group of pals: Jamie, Ed, and James. Before we even began our journey, food got involved. With the boys getting delayed in traffic, Jamie and I met up at McDonald's first. I know. It's such a travesty to eat this stuff when we live in a city with so many delicious food options. But it's my guilty pleasure, ok?  "What she order, fish filet?" Indeed, I did.  I also brought some for the guys.

We have arrived!  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Ghost of Halloween Past

To get into the Halloween spirit, I wanted to share my past costumes and a fantastic holiday celebration at LA's Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

I've never really been one to get into sexy costumes as you can see here:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

What's It Like at a Print Modeling Shoot?

I'm not a super experienced lifestyle model. But recently, I have been working more as a...model. Sorry, that word cracks me up- I mean, to describe myself.

If you don't already know, lifestyle models represent more "real" people.  Ads involving lifestyle models show a slice of life to which you can generally relate- doing laundry, picking up groceries, etc. Fashion models are what you typically think of as "model-y" models.  You know, ridiculous cheekbones. And they're usually doing crazy stuff in ads that normal people will NEVER do like jumping onto their private helicopter or running down a palace hall.  

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 Right. So that's my very loose "definition" of the two types of models. You get it.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Back Home To Atlanta

Essentials for a fabulous flight: Bridget Jones and TONYMOLY Peach Anti Aging Hand Cream. This cream smells peach gummy rings.  You'll want to eat your hands. Which could be bad. Southwest has been pretty badass at letting you watch inflight free live TV on your devices.

I tried to be a good girl and work out during my vacation.  My ClassPass allows me to visit studios in any participating city. This was my first time doing it outside of NYC. I took Pure Barre in Decatur. It was neat to see a view like this outside the window rather windowless studios in New York.  You're cute, Decatur!

While waiting for my friends to eat dinner, I grabbed an iced coffee at the Java Monkey.  It's a fun creative joint that hosts poetry night, musicians, readings, and other performances.

We ate dinner at Makan, a Korean Chinese fusion restaurant that was oddly located inside of a Marriott Courtyard.

Pork belly bun!!! Slow roasted local pork and pickled red onions. The pecan sugar was a beautiful addition to this traditional appetizer.

Shrimp and pork dumplings: thumbs up!

The fried chicken was tasty. I wasn't blown away, but I wasn't complaining while I cleaned up my plate. The ramen was meh, and my friend's black bean noodles (Jajang myeon) was not impressive.  Stick to the dumplings and buns here!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Amazing Sunday Riley Line Up: Luna Sleeping Night Oil and Good Genes Treatment

Beauty bloggers have been going gaga over Sunday Riley's skincare products.  I was super curious about Good Genes (major Instagram/YouTube love for this one) and the Luna Oil.  Good ol' Sephora provided me with some samples, and in just one night, I was convinced that I needed a full-size version of the oil! 

I saw immediate results. My skin texture was softer, my pores looked smaller, blackheads disappeared, and my skin tone evened out (less splotchy and faded hyperpigmentation). It was unbelievable. Usually, I have to use products for weeks before I see any results. With both of these Sunday Riley products, there was instant gratification.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Affordable Dupe for MAC, NARS, and Smashbox? NYX!

According to the blogosphere, NYX is famous for replicating the results of more expensive brands.  For example,  some of the NYX eyeshadows are dupes for MAC shadows. 

The NYX Studio Perfect Primer and NYX Studio Perfect Primer are supposed to be very similar to Smashbox primers.  

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And NYX Cosmetics Powder Blush in Pinched is a copycat of the NARS blush in Orgasm.

I really love my NYX Matte Lipstick in Alabama.  The pigment is fantastic, and it has a nice matte texture.  I also found the color to stay put for a long time.  It is known to be a dupe for MAC's Viva Glam 1. The other night, my friend Susi was wearing the lipstick in Perfect Red, and I was amazed at how well it stayed on her lips throughout dinner!

Here's my stash of NYX products.

I really love the NYX HD Eye Shadow Base. I use it as an eyeshadow primer, and it hasn't failed me yet.  At $7, it's a fantastic alternative to the expensive guys.  I haven't used it as a concealer, so I can't comment on that.

The left eyeshadow palette is the Runway Collection.  The right is Beautiful Green Eyes. 

Here is the brush for NYX Doll Eye Mascara.

Close up of NYX lipstick (from L to R) in Perfect Red, Femme, and Alabama.

Here is my look with the Runway Collection palette and lipstick in Femme.

Before Doll Eye mascara

After Doll Eye mascara

I went for a summer glow. The Femme lipstick is a tad more orange in real life. It is super moisturizing!  The mascara has a more waxy feel that helps lift up my lashes after curling. It also contains natural oils and Vitamin E to moisturize and protect. I went a little crazy with multiple coats so I should have separated a bit more. But I was still surprised at how little it clumped.  It has great reviews on Amazon, and you can see how it REALLY pumps up lashes for people who have way more than I do.

And yay to NYX for being cruelty-free!  Thanks, Susi, for my Perfect Red and Femme lips!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Skinfood Store: Reviews of Egg White Pore Foam and Black Sugar Mask

One of my stops last month during my tour of Korean beauty stores was Skinfood.

Some info on Skinfood:

"Feed your skin, it deserves a treat" is SkinFood's basic philosophy. SkinFood creates delicious cosmetics from familiar ingredients such as sugar, rice, vegetables and fruits. From yummy strawberries to crunchy apples, refreshing aloe vera and invigorating coffee, SkinFood offers over 900 products that pamper, protect and please your skin."

Entering the store

 The back room is for manicures and nail art.